A megadrought is a prolonged drought lasting two decades or longer. Past megadroughts have been associated with persistent multiyear La Niña conditions. The term megadrought is generally used to describe the length of a drought, and not its acute intensity. In scientific literature, the term is used to describe decades-long droughts or multi-decadal droughts. Multiyear droughts of less than a decade, such as the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, are generally not described as megadroughts even though they are of a long duration. In popular literature multiyear or even single year droughts are occasionally described as megadroughts based upon their severity, the economic damage they inflict or other criteria, but this is the exception and not the rule.

Read more in the app

No End in Sight for Megadrought Crisis as States Fail to Agree on Use of Colorado River Water

Utah’s Great Salt Lake Is Disappearing – Megadrought Persists Across the US Southwest

Ongoing Megadrought Puts the West in 'Uncharted Waters'

To Save Water Amid a Megadrought, Las Vegas Outlaws Grass

No Relief in Sight from Southwest's Megadrought, the Worst in 1,200 Years

Western 'Megadrought' Is the Worst in 1,200 Years